Honoring a Neighbor and Friend

by Joseph Beckham on behalf of the West Kessler Neighborhood Association

We are sure most of you have heard, but we have lost a beloved member of our community. On Thursday, March 16th, Jacques Groth passed away.

Jacques has been an integral part of this neighborhood for more than 10 years and his impact upon Oak Cliff through his service with the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League cannot be overstated. Like many of you, we will surely miss his benevolent and creative spirit. Our heart literally aches for Kurt Johnson, his partner, and husband for over 20 years.  

As Kurt so eloquently stated, "....Stop, pause, listen, look.  When you see a Cardinal, it may be Jacques Groth stopping to say hello."

We all send hugs to our friend Kurt and bid a loving farewell to our inimitable, Jacques Groth.

In Honor Donations

For those who are interested in making a donation of any amount to honor Jacques’ memory, please consider the following organizations where Jacques actively participated or held a strong interest.

The Old Oak Cliff Conservation League where he served as Vice President of Neighborhoods for two years and managed the annual Neighborhood Grant Request, Review, and Approval process.  Donate

Twelve Hills Nature Center; a five-acre respite and educational preserve that touches our back yard.  Donate

West Kessler; our Neighborhood (not Homeowners) Association.  Donate

Center on Halsted; where Jacques volunteered answering calls from those wanting information or reaching out for assistance. Back when it was Horizons Community Service.  Donate


Thursday, March 30, 2017
3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Cooney Funeral Home, 3918 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL 60618


Friday, March 31, 2017
10:00 AM


Memorial and Bench Dedication
West Kessler Cul-de-Sac
Saturday, July 8, 2017
9:30 AM

Knowing You Made Us Better

caret-down caret-up caret-left caret-right
John S East Kessler

Jacques was one of those guys that, without a doubt, had a good soul. You just felt it, heard it in his voice, and when he asked how you were doing, it was heartfelt. I enjoyed years of knowing him through the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League, and I admired his appreciation of and concern for our community. We wish peace for Kurt, and all of Jacque's family.


Melissa O East Kessler

He was a sweetheart of a man, and will sorely be missed in the neighborhood. Our thoughts are with Kurt, and all who loved him.

Kirby W West Kessler

Jacques was one of the funniest, kindest, and most big-hearted men I have ever met. Every time we had a WKNA function he always made me smile. (He always said that WKNA's motto should be, "She drinks, you know.") Like Joseph, I, too am in shock. Prayers for Kurt. It will be difficult.

Joseph B West Kessler

I'm still stunned and in disbelief. Jacques was one-of-a-kind and his absence will be profoundly felt. Much love to Kurt during this difficult time.

Ellie H Stevens Park Estates

We are so saddened at the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League to lose our friend, Jacques. He was indeed a dear, sweet guy who cared deeply about his neighbors, neighborhood and Oak Cliff. He was generous with sharing his experience and his time. Our hearts are heavy and we send a special note of condolence to Kurt and to West Kessler--a neighborhood that he loved.
From His Friends at the League.

Irene E Kessler

I first met Kurt and Jacques through Twelve Hills Nature Center events. Jacques was also so friendly and kind and supportive, and I send my deep condolences to Kurt, his husband, who was equally kind.

Shawn J West Kessler

When we first moved to the neighborhood and nervously went to our first event, Jacques was the first person to approach us, say hi, and stay in the conversation for the entire event.  He was a kind soul and a true gentleman.